JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Prime Minister pointed out that agriculture is the direct source of livelihood in rural communities.
  • PM saluted the efforts of the over 200,000 farmers
  • PM commended exhibitors at this year's show on the variety of displays

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, has hailed the island’s farmers noting that that agriculture is the “lifeblood of our existence” and a platform for sustainable rural development.

The Prime Minister also pointed out that agriculture is the direct source of livelihood for thousands of Jamaicans and their families in rural communities.

“It is for these reasons that I salute the efforts of the over 200,000 farmers all across Jamaica – big farmers, small farmers, male farmers, female, older farmers and younger ones; those who plant on the plains and those who plant on the slopes,” she said.

Mrs. Simpson Miller was speaking on the third and final day of the 61st Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Trade Show in May Pen, Clarendon, on August 6.

She also commended the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Jamaica Agricultural Society for their leadership in advancing the ‘Eat Jamaican’ campaign through increased cultivation, citing this as pivotal to safeguarding the country’s food security thrust.

Mrs. Simpson Miller said the ‘Eat Jamaican’ campaign is a “necessary and urgent appeal” that reminds the nation to “return to the principles of our roots – principles of self reliance.”

“Jamaica’s competitive advantage lies in our resources-­ the land, the sunshine, and the people. There is recognition, not only in Jamaica and the Caribbean, but globally, of the importance of food security.  Increased local production, import substitution and agricultural exports are critical to defeat hunger and malnutrition in the world,” she contended.

The Prime Minister commended exhibitors at this year’s show on the variety of displays in their booths, describing them as a “bountiful harvest.”

“You have certainly made the most of our resources. You have outdone yourselves despite a prolonged drought. You have surely showcased the best of Jamaica. We are certainly a talented people,” she said.

She also revealed that each time she attends the Denbigh show, she is impressed at the way Jamaicans take the rich produce of the earth, and in humble kitchens in every Parish, transform them into some of the most delightful and mouth-watering delicacies.

“I am truly pleased to see the vast array of produce, livestock and agricultural technology displayed by all the organisations, parishes and groups. Our individual and collective pursuit in agriculture and in commerce helps to define who we are as a people. We are hardworking,” Mrs. Simpson Miller stated.

She also commended the Ministry and its agencies for the work in forging stronger linkages between agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, particularly on behalf of the farmers. She said that the government remains committed to the work of the Inter-ministerial collaboration between Tourism and Agriculture and Manufacturing and Commerce.

“We want to ensure that we supply more local produce and products to our hospitality sector. We must ensure that even as Jamaicans grow what we eat and eat what we grow, our visitors will also be able to enjoy our local produce.  That is why a Tourism Linkages Hub has been established at the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment to promote stronger linkages between tourism agriculture and manufacturing,” Mrs. Simpson Miller said.

The Prime Minister also contended that as stakeholders in Jamaica’s future, “we will only achieve the economic growth and national development that we seek if we ensure that we are engaged in meaningful partnerships.”

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